Bahamian in UK gives world view on Global Economy

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Dear Sirs,

I read with great interest and enthusiasm the daily Bahamas Press online news and I am constantly struck by news reports about discontent in the Bahamas, especially among young people. Either the people of the Bahamas and its youth must be living in a fool’s paradise or they must be living in some alternate universe unseen by any other person living on this planet.

As a Bahamian living several years in the UK  and previously lived for several years in the United States during university, and looking forward to returning home to Nassau soon, let me make a few observations about the wider world that the Bahamian people do not seem to grasp

1. The Bahamas, cannot and does not make decisions in a nation vacuum. Every decision by government has both domestic and international impact. No where in this world,  can people march in an angry mob on Parliaments and houses of debate and government and expect to be heard. There are protocols to be observed.

This new wave of shout and scream and rip to shreds form of daily radio talk show, has turned from informative and enlightening to little more than a Jerry Springer audio. We have gotten use to people shouting and ‘biggety’.

Every time I tune in on the Internet, someone is calling in a shouting about their problems that are really only their responsibility, but seek to make it a national obligation. The talk show host is shouting as well.   In a country of only almost 400,000 people, many of whom are uneducated, have a chip on their shoulder from 1960 and are looking for their fair share of a pie that doesn’t exist unless you work for it, it doesn’t take much to whip the feeble minded into a frenzy.

2. Black people only, and I mean only, have a voice in black countries. If they think the grass is greener somewhere else, I invite them to go and find it. Black youth in Britain have sunk below Indians and Asians both academically and socially and this is 100% down to the negative attitudes they posses.

Black youths in Britain, are the LAST to be hired, the country expects the very least from them in terms of social and economic contribution and where they move in en masse, white people move out.

3. The gimme generation of the past is still alive and well in the minds of parents who pass down this ‘beggars where’s mine for nothing attitude’ to their children. They want everything but contribute nothing save their gripes and complaining for the world to see how black nations cannot govern themselves peacefully and orderly.

4. All I read is the constant, unending, flowing sea of negativity. Is there nothing of good and purpose flowing from our shores?  You have Bahamians abroad watching and reading the news ready to come and bring their children home but WHERE IS THE GOOD. The international press reads this stuff as well. We are killing the image of the country. Killing it!

I have met British people here that have chosen to invest in the Bahamas by buying homes and investing in shares in Bahamas Petroleum. They are more optimistic for the Bahamas than Bahamians.

5. Beware of the Johnny come lately’s that would seek to destabilise the country. There are people mixing and meddling in the politics of the country who are only permanent residents. They have homes elsewhere in the world. Bahamians only have one.

6. Students do not want to pay higher fees, residents don’t want VAT… Is this a joke? I didn’t realise the Bahamas intends to run on milk in the future. These are the same people that happily go the US and UK and pay their taxes and fees and do not blink an eye. In the UK, in addition to VAT, there is annual income tax and monthly Council Tax ( local tax) that pays for roads, schools, police, street cleaning, garbage collection etc. Student fees started off at £3,000, then £6,000, now £9000 and soon will be £12,000 because as Prime Minister David Cameron said, those who will benefit the most, must bear the cost.

7. What is killing the Bahamas is our attitude…. Our attitude is killing the nation and we are passing it on to our children. Our bitchy, rip to shreds attitude that we have for other black people is the worst trait we carry as a people. We call white people ‘sir’ and black men ‘fella’.  I see people refer to the government leaders  and black businessmen as ‘those fellas’ but NOT ONE PERSON I have seen on Facebook and the online blogs refer to ANY WHITE BAHAMIAN as anything other than their name with Mr or Ms in front of it.

8. Progress is a group sport. Have you ever seen a team win a game with half of the players tearing the other half to shreds?  I do understand the mindset of young Bahamians. I know the older ones are upset that they aren’t all millionaires but the youth is a puzzler. We are teaching them NEGATIVITY AND BEGGARISM.  They have the Internet and books and the world at their fingertips but choose to gripe instead of create. We had bulky outdated encyclopaedias at home, they have the world in their bedrooms and it is still not enough. What will be enough for them? Free everything… A free big house… A free big car… Free money… Free of responsibility life???? What…

9. How this government, and indeed the ones of the future, intend to turn this around, I don’t know.  I know that we have become our own worst enemy and if the mindset does not change, a hundred years from now, a hundred government administrations from now, will still see black Bahamians living in beggarism ( my made up word) and dragging the chains of ‘gimme’ to hand over to the next generation.

10. “If we leave the next generation with our old attitudes, fears, our hang ups, our blindness, and the limitations imposed by the past, we have left them with nothing .

If we leave the next generation with a belief in their potential, a framework for progress and a map drawn toward new possibilities we have left them with everything .”

Nicole Roberts BA, MBA, LLM

10 COMMENTS

  1. Well written and well said. This should have been sent to the other newspapers for publishing as well. I’m Bahamian working in Africa and the constant negativity is sometimes overwhelming. People would be surprised to know just how many of us are working as expats and studying all around the world and we didn’t get here by waiting on someone to hand us an opportunity or telling our MP to “gimme one job”. But we got here (and will continue to globetrot) by sheer hard work and ambition….two things a vast majority of our counterparts back home are missing.

  2. I read with interest your post Miss Roberts and I once shared your opinion. My greatest concern though, was hanging our dirty laundry in public, so to speak. I too lived abroad, and travelled widely around the world and also had a chance to recognize some of our weaknesses! Our No. 1 problem is that we don’t love each other enought to care about our needs; No. 2 we are to jellous of each other’s achievements, from the school up to and including the work-place, including some of your supervisors, No. 3 unless you walk a mile in someone’s shoes, you will not know what a great deal of persons are experiencing in this country while you are being exposed to a different kind of world. I think ‘black people’ have, so to speak, accepted their fate in the “white” world, because as long as they don’t have the finances to compete, they will always be subservant to the money powers. If you hear about how many persons are unemployed, and who are living in total darkness, (without electricity) you too, will find some empathy; but hopefully, if and when you return home, things will be better, because you are now working on how to fix the problem for everyone, and it is not only done with education. I wish you the very best, and maybe we can come up with some solutions to help our country and our people. I was told, “Cursed is the Nation that forgets it God.” We now have persons advocating for “same sex marriage”, Sodom and Gommorah was destroyed because of it.

    God Bless you on your journey for success and hopefully you will be able to bring some solutions.

  3. I cannot say I agree with all of the article written. I do believe there was a generation shift, and I believe that the children born in the late 80’s and 90’s holds true to your theory. However, I do not believe the children of the 70;s and 60’s are of the same persuasion. We were never taught entitlement, we were taught that education is the only key to excel. We were taught to save and acquire land. We were taught to respect our elders, manners and respect. We do not think we deserve to be given anything, but a fair chance. I agree that the Bahamas often tends to exist in a bubble. But we must also not judge the Bahamas on the few fruit, nut and cracker jacks that call into the radio stations. They most certainly do not speak for all Bahamians. The Bahamas is a very intelligent group of people, I think what we suffer from is not knowing who we are and truly where we come from. You can never truly know where you are going until you know where you were before. I to have resided in the US for quite a few years (14) to be exact and yes it is amazing to see what our people have become. Our children rather. Many of my college cohorts are of the same belief system as you and I. I do believe there is hope for our nation and our people. I believe as in all thinks its starts with Education. Educate our children of there history, educate them on dealing with strife and disputes, learn that punishment should not always be beatings and verbal abuse. Most certainly in learning about our history teach them about our laws, regulations and rights. That is a start to changing a nation. Changing a people. I believe in a fair opportunity of all Bahamians and in time we will certainly get there.

  4. This is why I encourage Entrepreneurship. We have the ability to achieve success no matter our background or past or where we come from. Nothing is beyond our reach. There is knowledge is knowing and understanding. If your reading this comment I encourage you to check out. http://www.cybertreneurs.com. An informative internet blog written by a Bahamian that encourages and shows youth how to be self- starters and Entrepreneurs in their own right no matter what their background.

  5. While I agree with the author of this letter, I do believe that the march downtown was done for a good reason. Like the author, I too live abroad and I’m not being pigeon held like the citizens of the Bahamas. I can spread my wings and shoot for the stars so to speak.
    The problems that the Bahamas is facing are mostly because of its lack to change and adapt to a growing world, and yes it has a lot to do with the people, particularly the Politicians. But mostly the outdated laws. There is no reason why a citizen can’t own certain businesses that non-citizens do, there is no reason why there should be favoritism when it comes to government contracts being issued, because only the politicians and their cronies get them. I’m not one to complain, but fair is fair and I don’t think the laws in the Bahamas are fair to its citizens. Now that is not to say that the politicians alone are at fault, I think that the citizens should share the blame also. Bahamians need to practice a better way of life through better communication, pride and most of all education. We all know that the more revenue the government can collect the better, but the government need to get innovative and push Bahamians towards business ownership. With more Bahamians competing in a business world, the government can collect more revenue and in turn invest more in things like education, but on the other side, the citizens needs to be up to the task.
    As I digress, I was so disappointed with these web shop gambling guys!! Everyone has been giving them praises for digitalizing their industry, but they didn’t have the smarts to get it legalize. Here are criminals (due to past and present law) giving the government consultation on how to proceed with legalizing their industry, but didn’t utter one word about other law abiding citizens being able to own a web shop gambling establishment also, because they wanted to monopolize that industry and the politicians didn’t care. Where is the democracy in that? Even had they said or suggested that it will take a one million dollar deposit or two and a squeaky clean record along with other obstacles to become a owner, they should have made it clear that anybody that meets the requirements can and will be able to own a web shop gambling establishment, but no, they wanted to be greedy. I’m sure they would have gotten more votes for yes.

  6. I TRUELY SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT MS.ROBERTS! YOU SAYING IS SO TRUE…..BEING HERE FOR THE PAST FEWS MONTHS I HAVE SEEN THAT IN THE BAHAMAS EXPECIALLY IN THE GOVERNMENT SECTOR SUCH AS REGISTRAR OFFICE IN FREEPORT,BAHAMAS. THEY FEEL LIKE YOU DOING THEM A FAVOR WHEN THEY ARE WORKING FOR YOU AS A PUBLIC SERVICE TO THERE COUNTRY.

  7. Thank you very much Ms. Roberts, thank you very much. Your comments are exactly what I talk about on a daily basis, but I’m usually criticized so I just shut up and observe. Once again, thank you vey much.

    I hope the “commentators” read your article and pass the word on.

  8. Thank you very much Ms. Roberts, thank you very much. Your comments are exactly what I talk about on a daily basis, but I’m usually criticized so I just shut up and observe. Once again, thank you vey much.

    I hope the “commentators” read your article and pass the word on.

  9. I could not agree more. I have lived here in the United States for about 20 years, but I was born and raised in the Bahamas. I have a Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees all obtained at Ivy League schools in the U.S. I love my country. Their is no place better than the Bahamas. I am actually considering moving back home but I hate all the negativity amongst our people. This is very discouraging. It’s so disheartening. I visit home quite often and experience this. We as a nation need to pull together and support each other. I find that the black race, in general, whether it be Americans or Bahamians, tear each other down so much, compared to other ethnicities. We need to pull together as a nation if we want to progress and survive.

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